Liverpool’s jewel in the crown, St George’s Hall, has taken a step closer to opening a brand new visitor attraction in 2021 thanks to a £250,000 boost.
The funding, part of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, will be invested in a high-tech digital visitor experience which will enable people to step back in time and see what life would have been like in the cells and courts of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The ambition is for the educational and informative project to combine 3D, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and virtual reality, in a first for the Grade I-listed building.
This initial funding will allow the St George’s Hall team to work with a specialist company, via a tender process, to deliver the digital vision, with the ambition to secure more funding in the new year for the project.
St George’s Hall was one of 77 organisations to receive a grant which was allocated by the National Heritage Fund and Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Liverpool’s Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “We welcome investment in this much-loved landmark and are delighted by this latest funding boost.
“St George’s Hall has so many stories to tell, and we want to bring these to life in a whole new, 21st century way which will ensure the venue continues to be a must-visit destination for residents and visitors alike.
“We have high ambitions for the project and look forward to seeing it develop over the coming months.”
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “These grants will help the places that have shaped our skylines for hundreds of years and that continue to define culture in our towns and cities.
“From St Paul’s and Ronnie Scott’s to The Lowry and Durham Cathedral, we’re protecting heritage and culture in every corner of the country to save jobs and ensure it can bounce back strongly.”
Duncan Wilson, Historic England Chief Executive said: “This funding is a lifeline which is kickstarting essential repairs and maintenance at many of our most precious historic sites, so they can begin to recover from the damaging effects of Covid-19. It is also providing employment for skilled craft workers who help to keep historic places alive and the wheels of the heritage sector turning. Our shared heritage is an anchor for us all in these challenging times and this funding will help to ensure it remains part of our collective future.”
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund said: “The government’s £1.57bn package for culture is unprecedented and it’s important to acknowledge how valuable this has been for our heritage organisations and visitor attractions. Although we are not able to support everyone facing difficulties, today’s funding package helps a diverse range of heritage organisations from across the country survive, adapt and plan for a brighter future through the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage.
“By the end of this financial year we will have distributed almost £600m of government and National Lottery Funding to heritage organisations. Investing in heritage remains vitally important, creating jobs and economic prosperity, driving tourism, supporting our wellbeing and making our towns, cities, and rural areas better places to live. There is a lot more work to do to address the ongoing challenges, but this funding has provided a future for much of our heritage and the organisations that care for it, when it might otherwise have been permanently lost.”